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Accepted Paper:

When the past haunts the future. Challenging the hegemonic discourses in the contested Istrian towns, Slovenia  

Author:

Katja Hrobat Virloget (University of Primorska)

Paper short abstract:

If remembering makes the past active in the present, what are the strategies contesting the hegemonic visions of it in order to make alternative multivocal urban futures? How futures are imagined in the contested Istrian urban towns where unconformable pasts influence the identity and cohabitation?

Paper long abstract:

The paper speaks about the bilingual Istrian towns in Slovenia, the population of which has almost entirely changed after WWII with the change of the national borders and the “exodus” of 90% of the urban inhabitants of (mostly) Italian ethnicity. The emptied places were resettled by migrants from Slovenia and other republics of former Yugoslavia. For the remaining Italian minority a wound that has never healed, for the newcomers new opportunities. However, half of the century latter, new wounds were inflicted with disintegration of Yugoslavia, which transformed the migrants from the once common state to new “others”, second class citizens.

The presentation discusses different alternative practices which contest the hegemonistic visions of past with the aim to influence the future. What kind of heritagisation practices are involved as a strategy to challenge the hegemonistic national visions of the past in order to give voice to the silenced? How the collision of the hegemonic and alternative visions of the past raise battles for the future historical truth of the region with so many different conflict memories? What everyday practices are involved by the presumably “uprooted” newcomers of the non-recognized minorities of former Yugoslavia for their empowerment, challenging in this way the hegemonistic discourse? How to negotiate a collective identity by contesting the national dominant discourse in the region, where even its name became problematic? What visions of the urban futures can be discerned through the candidature for the European Capital of Culture? How the uncomfortable pasts define the urban future?

Panel Urb05a
In the name of the future: rule-breaking in urban settings I